It is no secret that a large portion of the drinking water infrastructure in the United States is near or past its intended design life. Our nation’s water infrastructure needs an overhaul, and the cost of doing so is climbing rapidly. The American Society of Civil Engineering’s 2017 Infrastructure Report Card graded the nation’s drinking water infrastructure a D. According to the American Water Works Association, an estimated $1 trillion is necessary to maintain and expand drinking water service to meet demands over the next 25 years.
Nearly every industry requires water and wastewater treatment to some degree. From food and beverage to pulp and paper operations, influent and effluent must meet certain conditions to adhere to regulatory and/or performance requirements, and water used during the process must conform as well.
Those in the water industry know water is essential for life and brings economic value, but the economic role of water is often not as well understood by the general public. This paper reviews the history and development of our transportation, electrical, and energy infrastructure and then presents a plan for our nation’s water to be augmented from where we have it abundantly to where we badly need it.
Electromagnetic flowmeters from ABB are playing a key role in cutting water leakage for the Ministry of Defense (MoD) in England, with reductions of 60% achieved at some sites. Leakage has already dropped by about 528 million (US) gallons per year across more than 1,500 MoD sites where C2C Services manages water and waste utility assets. By ABB
In a nation of red states and blue states, water policy is an issue that often dissolves party lines.
In Canada and the western United States, long treated water transmission lines are frequently utilized to convey potable water to rural communities. These long transmission lines combined with chlorine for water disinfection can often create the requisite conditions for the formation of undesirable disinfection-byproducts (DBPs). One of the most common DBPs is a family of volatile compounds called Trihalomethanes (THMs) which are regulated in Canada to a level of 100 ppb (part-per-billion) annual average and in the US to a level of 80 ppb.
There has been no shortage of studies, discussions and debates surrounding the concept of energy efficiency over the past 40 years. Scientific studies suggest a relationship between greenhouse gas emissions and global climate change, strengthening the belief that human activity was harming the environment.
Three Valleys Municipal Water District (Three Valleys) is one of 26 water agencies that comprise the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD). Three Valleys is the primary source of supplemental water for the Pomona, Walnut, and East San Gabriel Valleys.
Ashley Valley Water & Sewer Improvement District (AVWSID) serves rural county residents who live outside the city of Vernal, Utah.
The City of Alliance Ohio’s water system has experienced annual Taste and Odor (T&O) events since the mid 1950’s, when the first of two reservoirs, Deer Creek Reservoir, was placed into service. Nutrient contaminants, in particular phosphorous, in the watershed accumulate in the reservoirs causing algal blooms. By Terry Keep of TrojanUV, Said Abou Abdallah of Arcadis, and Dr. Dean Reynolds, Department of Water Treatment City of Alliance, Ohio
The term wastewater can be applied to a wide range of water sources from municipal sewage to storm runoff to industrial discharge water. By Michael Sheedy, Vice President of Technology and George Di Falco, Marketing Communications, Eco-Tec Inc.
The “rotten egg” odor in some water supplies is caused by sulfide in water. Sulfide can be treated using oxidation techniques, the goal being to convert the sulfide to high oxidation state species such as sulfate to eliminate the taste and odor concerns. Traditional oxidation techniques such as ozone and chlorine can be used, but can be expensive due to the equipment required to add and monitor the oxidant, and can lead to by-products such as trihalomethanes (THMs), which are regulated in drinking water supplies.
In recent years, various perflorinated chemicals (PFCs) have come under increasing scrutiny due to their presence in the environment, in animals, and in human blood samples. There are two major classes of PFCs: perfluoroalkyl sulfonates such as perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) and long chain perfluoroalkyl carboxylates such as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA).
Harmsco® Filtration Products is pleased to offer a solution to the ever increasing blue-algae blooms in water sources. A multi-barrier approach is necessary to physically remove intact (algae and cyanobacteria) before they rupture in the treatment process and then remove extracellular cyanobacteria through adsorption.
Americans consume more than 9.1 billion gallons of bottled water annually - an average of twenty nine gallons per person every year.
Now compatible with the Hach sc100 Controller, the FilterTrak 660 sc Nephelometer connects as a ‘plug and play’ sensor with the universal, dualchannel controller that features an inherent power supply.
QuEChERS is a Quick-Easy-Cheap-Effective-Rugged-Safe extraction method that has been developed for the determination of pesticide residues in agricultural commodities.
Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a large group of organic compounds found naturally in the environment. PAHs are monitored by the US Environmental Protection Agency due to their carcinogenic characteristics.
Ozone is a powerful oxidizing agent that can be used to destroy the organic compounds that affect the taste and odor of potable water. Environmental concerns have led to increased use of ozone because, unlike chlorine, it does not form hazardous by-products.
There’s been talk lately about empathy, its components and its general decline. A decline in empathy concerns me as an assistant professor in the University of Saskatchewan’s School of Environment and Sustainability: I study how people cope with water problems or learn to share scarce resources, like water, gas, oil, and energy.
Advanced oxidation is a rather complex wastewater treatment process. The general concept of how the process works can be difficult to grasp at first, and the number of possible oxidation methods can seem daunting. Therefore, you turn to the internet for information, and try to analyze together all the information you find using various online resources. However, everything doesn’t always fit right, and you come up with ideas that may not be quite true.
As Midwest states struggled with record spring flooding this year, the Southwest was wrestling with the opposite problem: not enough water. On May 20, 2019, federal officials and leaders from seven states signed the Colorado River Drought Contingency Plan, a sweeping new water management agreement for this arid region.
Water utilities with highly successful monitoring programs tend to share a common trait: they have a well-defined plan for calibration that emphasizes frequency and tracking. However, when done properly, this process is time-consuming and often leads to unnecessary labor and downtime. The good news is that advanced metering technology is available for plants to get a better handle on the instrument’s performance with significantly less effort.
Digital devices provide two-way communication, so they can be programmed from the control room. However, the bigger benefit is that they can be part of a system offering assured interoperability to provide a seamless flow of information. This type of integration between key components of the water treatment and distribution process improves decision-making and overall equipment optimization.
When water and wastewater plant operators can’t get accurate flow measurements or analytical readings — or lack confidence in their instruments’ readings — it creates challenges with the process. When substandard water goes to homes and causes a boil order, or discharge pollutes a lake or reservoir, the resulting bad press, fines, and potential lawsuits erode public confidence. Avoiding these kinds of problems is rooted in good preventive maintenance habits.
In most developed countries, drinking water is regulated to ensure that it meets drinking water quality standards. In the U.S., the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administers these standards under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).
Drinking water considerations can be divided into three core areas of concern:
Drinking Water Sources
Source water access is imperative to human survival. Sources may include groundwater from aquifers, surface water from rivers and streams and seawater through a desalination process. Direct or indirect water reuse is also growing in popularity in communities with limited access to sources of traditional surface or groundwater.
Source water scarcity is a growing concern as populations grow and move to warmer, less aqueous climates; climatic changes take place and industrial and agricultural processes compete with the public’s need for water. The scarcity of water supply and water conservation are major focuses of the American Water Works Association.
Drinking Water Treatment
Drinking Water Treatment involves the removal of pathogens and other contaminants from source water in order to make it safe for humans to consume. Treatment of public drinking water is mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the U.S. Common examples of contaminants that need to be treated and removed from water before it is considered potable are microorganisms, disinfectants, disinfection byproducts, inorganic chemicals, organic chemicals and radionuclides.
There are a variety of technologies and processes that can be used for contaminant removal and the removal of pathogens to decontaminate or treat water in a drinking water treatment plant before the clean water is pumped into the water distribution system for consumption.
The first stage in treating drinking water is often called pretreatment and involves screens to remove large debris and objects from the water supply. Aeration can also be used in the pretreatment phase. By mixing air and water, unwanted gases and minerals are removed and the water improves in color, taste and odor.
The second stage in the drinking water treatment process involves coagulation and flocculation. A coagulating agent is added to the water which causes suspended particles to stick together into clumps of material called floc. In sedimentation basins, the heavier floc separates from the water supply and sinks to form sludge, allowing the less turbid water to continue through the process.
During the filtration stage, smaller particles not removed by flocculation are removed from the treated water by running the water through a series of filters. Filter media can include sand, granulated carbon or manufactured membranes. Filtration using reverse osmosis membranes is a critical component of removing salt particles where desalination is being used to treat brackish water or seawater into drinking water.
Following filtration, the water is disinfected to kill or disable any microbes or viruses that could make the consumer sick. The most traditional disinfection method for treating drinking water uses chlorine or chloramines. However, new drinking water disinfection methods are constantly coming to market. Two disinfection methods that have been gaining traction use ozone and ultra-violet (UV) light to disinfect the water supply.
Drinking Water Distribution
Drinking water distribution involves the management of flow of the treated water to the consumer. By some estimates, up to 30% of treated water fails to reach the consumer. This water, often called non-revenue water, escapes from the distribution system through leaks in pipelines and joints, and in extreme cases through water main breaks.
A public water authority manages drinking water distribution through a network of pipes, pumps and valves and monitors that flow using flow, level and pressure measurement sensors and equipment.
Water meters and metering systems such as automatic meter reading (AMR) and advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) allows a water utility to assess a consumer’s water use and charge them for the correct amount of water they have consumed.